Has long been a teacher of English Literature, after the retirement focused on freelance copywriting. She’s now our full-time writer since our website allows her to know more about the hobby of her lifetime – sewing.
A professional fashion designer and seamstress. Isabel has her own video blog where she shares her experience about all the aspects of sewing – from choosing suitable materials to step-by-step instructions on how to sew a summer skirt.
Last updated: June 26, 2021
Creating your custom clothing has become a hot trend in the last years, but if you want to do it properly, you need the best sewing machine for making clothes your budget can buy. Moreover, a sewing machine can also help you create your own curtains, pillowcases, and many more other items that can bring a personal touch to your space. With a large selection of sewing machines available on the market, it may be difficult to choose the right one for your needs.
Whether you have a clothes-making business, or you simply want to make clothes for your family, you need a high-quality sewing machine with a wide range of features that can make the entire process easy and pleasant. We reviewed the best sewing machines on the market and considered all the important features including speed, built-in stitches, weight, dimensions, and warranty so you can choose the best one for your needs easily.
We spent days comparing various sewing machines and reading reviews from users who tested these machines in their homes, as well as reviews from professionals to come up with a selection of eight best sewing machines for sewing clothes. Below you will find them all reviewed in detail, together with a comparison table outlining the most important features and a buying guide that can help you make an informed choice. Now let’s have a look at the best sewing machines for making clothes that made it to the top.
Top 8 Sewing Machines for Making Clothes Review 2021
Juki HZL-F600 – Editor's Choice
Speed: 900 SPM
Built-in stitches: 225
Weight: 33.4 lbs.
Dimensions: 14 x 23 x 16 inches
Warranty: 5 years
Extra features: large sewing space: comes with wide, extended sewing table, dual LED sewing area, 16 industrial-style button holes, large LCD display
Our choice as the best all-around sewing machine for making clothes is the Juki HZL-F600, which is a high-powered professional sewing machine featuring a built-in computer that is an excellent choice for enthusiasts and professionals alike. Sporting a wide variety of stitches and over 250 sewing patterns, this machine also comes equipped with four different fonts. We found that this is one of the best sewing machines for making clothes and quilts because of the wide range of features that allow you to unleash your creativity.
What many users liked most about the Juki HZL-F600 is the large LCD display that makes it very easy to select patters, as well as the large variety of buttonholes, which is simply one of the best you can find on the market today. This sewing machine for making clothes also offers you a larger than average work space, so you can use it comfortably for all kinds of projects, including quilting.
Users also raved about how there’s no fabric shrinkage with this sewing machine, no matter how lightweight the material you’re using is. They also loved that even though the machine has a large working space and numerous features, it is reasonably lightweight at just 20 pounds, which means that you can transport it easily if you need to.
JUKI TL-2000Qi – Best Sewing Machine for Making Clothes and Quilting
Speed: 1500 SPM
Built-in stitches: straight stitch-only
Weight: 25.4 lbs.
Dimensions: 17.8 x 8.6 x 13.8 inches
Warranty: 1 year
Extra features: automatic needle threader, durable aluminum die cast arm and sewing bed for stability while sewing, comes with extension table, 6 mm. stitch length
Featuring entirely manual controls and sturdy metal parts, the JUKI TL-2000Qi also sports a sleek, white design that makes it look good despite its industrial qualities. While some users mentioned that this sewing machine is a bit bulky, you can still transport it easily from one room to another, thanks to the carrying handle. The machine has a 13-inch extension table that you can attach and detach as needed.
The functions and size of this mechanical sewing machine make it one of the best sewing machines on the market for making clothes and quilting. This is a top of the line piece of equipment that comes with a mid-range price tag. A suitable choice if you are a professional seamstress or quilter, this machine sports 1,500 stitches per minute speed, LED lights, single pedal operation and automatic needle threader and trimmer. A knee lever and an extension table for quilts are also included. Many of the users who reviewed this machine loved the way the aluminum die cast bed can reduce vibration during use
One of the best things about the JUKI TL-2000Qi sewing machine is its knee lifter lever, which is of great benefit for quilters. The lever lets you operate the presser foot without the need of using your hands. This means that you can work with the best precision possible. The machine also comes with a selection of presser feet for all types of jobs and an adjustable sewing speed with a maximum of 1,500 stitches per minute.
Janome 4120QDC – Best Sewing Machine for Beginners
Speed: 820 SPM
Built-in stitches: 120Top 8 Sewing Machine for Making Clothes
Weight: 14.3 lbs.
Dimensions: 15 x 8.4 x 6.9 inches
Warranty: 25 years / 1-year labor
Extra features: jam-proof, comes with hard case and extension table, easy to operate control panel, automatic needle threader, 7 one-step buttonholes, 5 mm stitch length, 7 mm stitch width
Suitable for a wide range of operations including quilting, home décor, garments and alterations, the Janome 4120QDC is remarkably easy to use for a machine that comes with so many features. This sewing machine has a built-in alphabet, 120 stitches, and a thread cutting button that many users found incredibly useful. This is one of those best sewing machines for making clothes that has almost exclusively excellent owner ratings, with many users describing it as a high-quality machine.
The machine has a backlit LCD screen that displays the stitch identification number, as well as the width setting and the length. The Janome 4120QDC also comes complete with a range of control buttons, which include a needle up/down button as well as a thread cutter. Users liked that the machine comes complete with 120 built-in patters as well as seven one-step buttonholes and a snap-on presser feet.
Owners of this sewing machine who reviewed it said that it is very easy to use if you aren’t a professional. Because the machine comes with an automatic needle threader, it is easy to master its functions and get excellent results even as a beginner. Selecting stitches is also very easy, because the touchpad is set in a way that makes the entire process highly intuitive. The Janome 4120QDC is a suitable sewing machine for a wide variety of fibers, including cotton, wool, linen and silk.
SINGER Quantum Stylist 9960 – Best Computerized Sewing Machine for Making Clothes
Speed: 850 SPM
Built-in stitches: 600
Weight: 20 lbs.
Dimensions: 17.2 x 8.2 x 12 inches
Warranty: 25 years
Extra features: 13 built-in 1-step buttonholes, comes with 14 presser feet, heavy duty metal frame, includes extension table, double LED working area
One of the most advanced computerized sewing machines on the market, the SINGER Quantum Stylist 9960 comes packed full of features and an incredible 600 stitches and five alphabet stitches. It is difficult to find a machine that compares to this one when it comes to the variety of stitches. Moreover, this machine also features a needle threader, start/stop and needle up/down buttons as well as a very useful thread trimmer button.
Users liked that this sewing machine comes with two features that you aren’t likely to find on many machines. The stitch elongation function is a great addition because it allows you to elongate the stitches up to five times their original length. Furthermore, the mirror/reverse image utility lets you flip most of the built-in stitches vertically and horizontally.
The SINGER Quantum Stylist 9960 includes a total of 13 presser feet, which many users appreciate because it is not likely to find this number on other sewing machines. Like you would expect from a sewing machine in this price range, you also get a top loading “drop-in” bobbin system, which lets you see how much of the bobbin is left thanks to its transparent cover. The automatic thread cutter is another feature most users appreciated, as you can cut your bobbin and needle threads with one tap of the button. Finally, this sewing machine includes a standard backlit black and white LCD screen that makes it easy to select stitches and lets you know which presser foot would be suitable for a particular type of job.
Janome HD3000 – Best Heavy-Duty Sewing Machine for Making Clothes
Speed: 860 SPM
Built-in stitches: 18
Weight: 23.2 lbs.
Dimensions: 19 x 10 x 14.7 inches
Warranty: 1 year
Extra features: adjustable presser foot pressure, comes with a hard case, leather needles and universal needles, 4mm stitch length and 6.5 mm stitch width, reverse stitch lever
If you’re looking for a heavy-duty sewing machine for making clothes, the Janome HD3000 is one of the best choices out there. Even though it doesn’t come with all the bells and whistles of some of the computerized machines we reviewed above, this model delivers consistent performance, which makes it a good choice no matter your experience level.
This sewing machine has a 1.0-amp motor which allows you to sew through multiple layers of fabric or through very thick layers of denim or leather. All of the internal components of this machine are metal, while the outside is made of plastic. Even though this is not a feature-rich machine, the Janome HD3000 incorporates all the essentials you need to obtain consistent results every time. It features an on-board guide that provides you with all the details of the 19 available stitches. You also get a five-piece feed dog that keep the fabric moving smoothly and prevents mistakes. Those who tested and reviewed the machine in their home loved that it comes with multiple accessories, including a quilting bar, extra bobbins, extra needles, hard cover, lint brush and more. The Janome HD3000 is an excellent choice for those who are looking for a reliable, heavy-duty machine that can handle very frequent use.
As a fast sewing machine for making clothes, the Brother HC1850 is also impressive in many other ways. The built-in stitches are one example. These stitches are easy to cycle through and select, given the presence of an LCD screen. You might also notice the stitch guide plastered on the side of the machine.
Further, users appreciate the ease of use allowed by the drop-in bobbin and the needle threading function. Notably, the drop-in top bobbin is jam-resistant, which is another positive.
A few users may even look forward to getting the accessories of the machine more than they anticipate acquiring the tool. These accessories are a wide table for your sewing work, a manual, eight sewing feet and an instructional DVD. Of course, with these, your sewing work becomes a lot easier.
If you find the manual/instructional video insufficient, you have a support system from the manufacturer at your beck and call. In addition to the support system, you could even get a 25-year warranty option.
It seems that versatility in this sewing machine is also top-notch. After all, it can take on other tasks apart from traditional sewing. These include monogramming, decorative stitching, quilting and more.
Though surprising, it does seem these features have little bearing on the weight of the sewing machine. After all, it could still quite easily be carried around. The dimensions as well support easy mobility.
What are its best features?
Offers high-speed sewing capability
Relatively compact and lightweight
An extended warranty is available alongside continued support from the manufacturer
The sewing machine comes with multiple accessories that improve functionality
The drop-in bobbin and needle threading function make this machine a cinch to use
What could be improved?
The sewing machine might be noisy for a lot of people
Also, some quilting feet may not be included, and that counts as an extra expense to people who want the functionality
Extra features: automatic needle threader, suitable for use on heavyweight fabrics
Our budget pick selection is the SINGER Heavy Duty 4452, a heavy-duty sewing machine that doesn’t come with an LCD screen or all the bells and whistles you can expect from premium models, but does a spectacular job nonetheless. Sporting a powerful motor that allows you to stitch thick materials such as canvas or denim, this sewing machine has a heavy-duty frame that is built to last. Many users mentioned that they prefer the heavy-duty design over the plastic one of many of the other sewing machines on the market because this way the machine doesn’t cramp when you use it.
The machine has 32 built-in stitches, and you can choose your preferred one for your job by selecting them with the rotatory dial. The automatic needle threader works great for a machine with this price tag, according to many reviews. Moreover, the automatic reverse function helps you reinforce the stitch with ease, and the bobbins are very easy to load thanks to the top loading drop-in bobbin. Many users loved that you can actually see how much thread you have left, something that you can’t do an all sewing machines.
The SINGER Heavy Duty 4452 has a selection of four foot and also comes with a wide range of accessories that include, among others, a needle pack, soft dust cover, spool caps, bobbin pack, and a screwdriver.
Singer 7258 – Best Sewing Machine with Automatic Needle Threader
Speed: 750 SPM
Built-in stitches: 100
Weight: 14.8 lbs
Dimensions: 14.5 x 7.5 x 12 inches
Warranty: 25 years
Extra features: automatic needle threader, LCD screen, programmable needle up/down
Featuring 100 stitch options, a snap-on presser, six fully automatic buttonholes and needle threaders, this sewing machine is a computerized model from reputable manufacturer Singer. This sewing machine works well for both enthusiasts and professional seamstresses and received lots of praise from users for its ease of use as well as the quality of the stitches. Something that you don’t find on lots of sewing machines, the stitches are explained on a clear diagram that is attached on the right side, so you can quickly consult it and select your stitches based on the type of work you intend to do.
Another feature that makes the SINGER Stylist 7258 stand out from the crowd is the existence of refined stitch controls, which means that you get lots of needle options to choose from. Users also liked the LED screen that is placed on the front of the sewing machine, which allows you to select your options and do any manual adjustments you need.
Users also raved about how easy it is to set up the sewing machine, which means that you don’t need to have a lot of experience when you first start using it. The automatic needle threader makes the machine ideal for those who don’t have loads of experience with sewing machines, while the top loading bobbin makes the sewing process even more intuitive.
If you have an interest in making clothes, either as a hobby or professionally, you may be on the lookout for the best sewing machine for making clothes on the market. To be able to unleash your inner designer, you need a sewing machine that comes with a wide range of features but choosing the right one can be difficult. Below you will find a buying guide that can help you make an informed choice when buying your first or next sewing machine.
Reasons to get a high-quality sewing machine for making clothes
Even though it is entirely possible to get good results with the best cheap sewing machine for making clothes on the market, it is always a good idea to go for a high-quality model because you get so much more versatility this way. Sewing machines that do all the basic functions are a good choice for beginners, but if you’re serious about making clothes, you will outgrow it quickly as you become more confident in your skills. Moreover, a sewing machine for making clothes is not something you replace yearly, so it would make a good investment.
What you need to consider when choosing your sewing machine for clothes
Naturally, when you’re shopping for a new sewing machine for making clothes, you need to make sure it matches your experience and abilities. You also need to consider whether you’re interested in a mechanical or computerized machine. Simple, budget-friendly sewing machines are often non-computerized and do their job just fine, but if you want more features and versatility, a computerized model may be a better choice. Other features to consider when shopping for a new sewing machine include the size of the working area, sewing speed, durability, warranty and more.
The sewing speed is important especially if you’re interested in using the sewing machine in a commercial way. If you plan on using the machine regularly and for a variety of projects, look for a model that comes with sewing speeds of at least 750 stitches per minute. Top of the range models may have stitching speeds of up to 1100 stitches per minute.
Variety of built-in stitches
The number of built-in stitches you need for your sewing machine usually depends on your skills and the types of projects you intend to do with the machine. If you are comfortable with basic stitching options, you don’t need hundreds of them, but if you’re ready to move towards more complicated projects, you may need a computerized sewing machine that comes with at least one hundred built-in stitches.
Keep in mind that some machines come with more decorative stitches than others, while others have more utility stitches than decorative ones.
Stitch length and width
The stitch length and width are important features to consider based on the type of clothing you’re looking to create. The range is typically from size 0 to 5 mm but can be wider depending on the model. The width of the stitch determines how far it will go side to side and it’s important for stitches such as zig-zag ones.
Manual vs. computerized
Most of the machines designed for sewing clothing are computerized, but you can also choose a mechanical one if you want simpler functionality. Higher end machines are generally computerized and feature LCD displays instead of knobs, and generally pack more functionality than mechanical models.
Most of the sewing machines on the market have a free arm that comes in very handy for making sewing cuffs, pant legs, etc. This is not a necessity if you have a lot of experience with flatbed sewing machines, but may be a great feature for beginners because it makes the entire process so much easier.
Size of working area
If you’re looking to create larger pieces such as quilts for example, look for a sewing machine with a large working area and an extension table so you have enough room to complete your project.
Ideally, your sewing machine for making clothes should have a metal frame or be made entirely of metal. This means that you won’t have to deal with vibration as you sew, and also that you get many years of sewing out of your machine.
The dimensions of the sewing machine are vital especially if you don’t have a lot of room in your home to begin with. Make sure the model you buy fits well on the surface that you want to use it on while leaving you enough space for all the accessories and fabrics.
If you think you are going to have to move the sewing machine from one room to another regularly, or if you plan on taking it to classes, opt for a lightweight model or one with a carry handle, such as the JUKI TL-2000Qi. However, if you don’t need to move it a lot, a heavy model with a metal case may prove to be a better choice because it offers more stability as you sew.
The number of accessories included varies from one sewing machine to another, with some only coming with needle packs, multiple feet, and dust cover, and others including things like screwdrivers for easy maintenance.
You should expect a sewing machine for making clothes to come with a warranty of at least one year, but there are also heavy-duty models available that are guaranteed to last for at least 25 years. Examples include the SINGER Stylist 7258 and the SINGER Heavy Duty 4452, which both sport a 25-year warranty.
The price is of course an important feature to consider when shopping for a sewing machine. You should expect to pay at least a couple hundreds of dollars on a premium model, but top of the range models may be much more than that. Consider the features you need for your creations before splurging on a model that might have functionalities you’ll never use.
Tips for getting started in making clothes
From finding the right sewing patterns to choosing fabrics, there are many things to consider when you decide to get started in making clothes. Consider choosing easy sewing patterns in the beginning and check online to see what other beginners had to say about them. You should also consider buying your patterns and fabrics from a retail shop so you can get the right kind of advice to help you get started.
Presser feet are designed for different purposes, so that is the reason they are so many. Common feet include a walking foot that can sew multiple layers of fabric together, an adjustable binding foot that is used to put contrasting bindings around the edge of the fabric, and the quarter inch foot that keeps the fabric in line as you sew.
The type of thread you should use depends on the kind of clothing you’re making. For example, a heavyweight fabric may need a different kind of thread than a lightweight fabric such as linen or cotton. You should also consider the type of stich you plan to make, as a top stitching may require a smoother thread than seams, for example.
Sewing jeans require a heavy-duty sewing machine with a foot that is suitable for thick fabrics. A general zig-zag foot is often a good choice for jeans. To attach buttons to denim, you also need a button shank plate that prevents uneven stitches.
Buying the best sewing machine for making clothes may be a difficult endeavor, particularly for beginners, mostly because there are numerous factors to take into account before making a purchase. For a good all-around option that it’s difficult to go wrong it, choose the Juki HZL-F600, our editor’s choice that works great for enthusiasts and professionals alike. We liked that this machine combines most of the features you may need for just about any type of project, all with a price tag that’s not prohibitive. If dressmaking is your game, the JUKI TL-2000Qi could be the ideal choice because it offers all the functionality you may need to create versatile projects, combined with extra-large working space. Finally, if you don’t have a lot of experience with sewing machines but still want a premium model, the Janome 4120QDC would definitely fit the bill.